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Please note that the certificate of authenticity issued by Jerry MacNeish of Camaro Hi-Performance Inc. confirms that this vehicle is an original L78 model, but does not attest to the authenticity or originality of components or stampings. The certificate of authenticity, as well as Mr. MacNeish’s detailed inspection report, accompanies the sale and can be viewed in The Archives or by contacting a specialist. When the consignor purchased the vehicle from Sherman Gerlach, Mr. Gerlach provided a notarized affidavit attesting that the vehicle retains its matching-numbers engine. That affidavit is also available for review. Please also note that copies of the period timing cards accompany the sale, not originals as stated in the catalogue.
Rare RPO L78 Convertible Example | NHRA Record Holder as the “Batcar”Dave and Judy Conner, Delaware, Ohio (acquired new in 1967)Sherman Gerlach, Letart, West Virginia (acquired from the above in 1970)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2009)
NHRA Winternationals, 1969, D. Conner (Class Champion)AHRA Winternationals, 1969, D. Conner (Class Champion)NHRA Record Run Event, Indianapolis Raceway Park, 1972, Gerlach (National Record)NHRA Nationals, Indiana, 1972, Gerlach (Class Winner)IHRA Super Nationals, Ohio, 1975, Gerlach (Class Winner)
Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals, Chicago, 2010 (Concours Gold)Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals, Chicago, 2017 (Outstanding Display)
In April 1967, Dave Conner went to Mahlon Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio, and placed an order for a new Camaro Convertible destined for fame as a Super Stock drag racer. With this in mind, Conner’s order included the mighty L78 big block, M21 Muncie four-speed gearbox, and Posi-Traction rear end with 4.10 gears. Finished in Tuxedo Black over gold, the new car cost $3,761.25 and was delivered that May. Conner wasted no time in getting the car on the track. In fact, he made his first quarter-mile pass with the window sticker still affixed.
n 1968, Conner’s Camaro appeared at Raceway Park in New Jersey wearing a new “Batcar” livery inspired by the Batman franchise’s distinctive color scheme. Conner’s success over the next two seasons – including being crowned SS/1A Class Champion at the AHRA and NHRA Winternationals – drew attention from magazines and earned him a place with the Rod Shop, a famous Ohio-based drag racing team. When the Rod Shop contracted with Mopar in 1970, Conner sold the Camaro to fellow racer Sherman Gerlach of West Virginia. He continued to race the Camaro – now as Gerlach’s Batcar – through 1975, setting an NHRA record at the Indy Nationals and capturing several class wins in the process.
Remarkably, Conner and Gerlach kept the major components that had been replaced or upgraded during the Camaro’s racing career, including the original engine. After it was retired from racing, the car was returned to its original configuration and remained in Gerlach’s ownership until 2009, when it was sold to the current owner.
In the consignor’s care, the Camaro was carefully restored to showroom condition, preserving original details where possible, including the original gold upholstery and convertible top. It has since been shown at the Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals, earning Concours Gold and Outstanding Display awards. Since 1967, this Camaro has covered just over 1,500 miles – the majority accrued a quarter mile at a time. Significantly, it was inspected by Jerry MacNeish of Camaro Hi-Performance Inc., who confirmed the various stampings, casting numbers, paint and trim codes as original, and issued a certificate of authenticity as well as a detailed inspection report. The Camaro is also offered with a copy of its original title, order form, judging sheets, magazines, 1967 NHRA rulebook, and original timing cards dating from Gerlach’s ownership.
Of the 1,138 L78 Camaros built for 1967, it is estimated that fewer than 150 were Convertibles. Today, just 27 examples are known to survive; far fewer retain their original, matching-numbers engine. Even among this extremely rare breed of Chevrolet muscle cars, few compare with the Batcar – a big-block Camaro with a rich history, competition pedigree, and presentation that is sure to impress the most discerning collector.